Avoiding Employment Tribunals

As there is no cost to lodging an Employment Tribunal, we are now seeing more cases being represented by No win NO fee solicitors. This is a big risk to employers and small business owners. Do not bury your head in the sand! Perfect HR is here to help and support small business owners and directors avoid the prospect of an Employment Tribunal.
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How to avoid Tribunals and the Cost of Tribunals

You can never stop an employee taking you to tribunal. But what you can do is make it extremely hard for it to happen. To do this you must make sure you follow the Acas Code of Conduct, and have all your policies and procedures in place.

Here is what you need to know.

There are many reasons why an employee may consider taking an employment tribunal action against your business. These include disputes around pay, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination for disability, sex, race, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief or even no belief.

We believe there are two types of Employment Tribunals:

Real Employment Tribunals: where the business has not treated the employee correctly in accordance with the Acas Code of Practice.

False Employment Tribunals: where an employee feels they have a chance to receive money through taking your business to an Employment Tribunal.

Rules on Tribunals

As the Owner, Director or the Employer we feel it is important for you to understand some information on Employment Tribunals, and how employment law works for you.

The Rules – Initial Stages


The Employment Tribunal paper 1 (ET1)

ET1. This is the first form you will receive, which is the Employment Tribunal application lodged by the “Claimant” (employee) who feels they have been wronged by their employer.

ET2 – Notice of a claim received by the “Respondent” (the business). This contains the date, in which the ET3 must be submitted by and can also include a hearing date as well as other important information that is relevant in the order of the paperwork to be completed.

ET3 – Your response to the claim filled in by the “Respondent”. This is the document which lays the foundations for your defence. This document must be submitted by a deadline, which will be stated in the ET2 (normally within 28 days).


When can an employee take you to an Employment Tribunal?

After leaving your business, an employee has up to 3 months less one day to start an employment tribunal. But their 3 months only starts once they have received their P45.


Tribunal Hearings

Preliminary Hearing: An interim hearing which deals with matters of procedure and management of the case for the final hearing. This can be conducted by telephone or in-person but are not public.

Preliminary Hearing (determine preliminary issues or strike out): A review of the facts of the case to determine a preliminary issue, or any possibility of some or all the claim or response being struck out (or both). These are conducted in person and are normally held as public hearings.

Final Hearing: A hearing in which both parties shall be entitled to give evidence, to call any witnesses, to question witnesses and address the tribunal. The tribunal shall require both Employment Tribunal Rules & Procedure Update.

One aspect of Acas Code of Practice is that you have to go through the process of early conciliation.  Early Conciliation is to allow potential claimants and employers to try to settle a dispute before employment tribunal proceedings are issued. This is a process you must go through in order to prove you have tried to conciliate with your employee.

The Cost of a Tribunal to Employers

There is no cost to an employee who lodges a case. However the cost to an employer can be significant.
Time Management:
This is the most expensive cost to any small business owners. It could be anything from 30 hours of work to an unlimited number of hours. Think about what happens if your Tribunal is held miles away and 4-5 Directors, Managers or Co-Workers are indicted and must all attend the Tribunal. You must complete forms, write letters, get witness statements, put together your bundle of paperwork making sure nothing is missed then exchange your paperwork on a set day that the court insists. And what happens if the hearing date is when you have booked your annual holiday with your family? etc.
Legal Cost:
This is extremely hard to estimate because it depends on quite a few factors such as the size of your company’s turnover and your legal team’s experience. The average legal cost for small business is approximately £8,000 including all paperwork, phone calls, letters and 1 day in tribunal court.
Other Cost
What happens if you lose your Tribunal case? Depending on the actual case itself it can be small but, in most cases, the cost can run into thousands of pounds.
Difference between Court and Tribunal.
The main difference between a court and a tribunal is the types of dispute they resolve and the way they resolve them. In general, tribunals are less formal than the courts and employees can represent themselves without needing a solicitor. But as Employment Tribunals are FREE, we are now seeing more cases being represented by No win NO fee solicitors.

Perfect HR can help!

Our team of HR experts have many years’ experience in HR and employment law.  They can offer advice, access to an extensive document library, employment legislation updates, tribunal legal support and more.

Whenever you require help to solve your employment issues, call Perfect HR on 1010101***  or email info@perfecthr.co.uk.


Access to our document library with template letters, example documents and guidance.


An email helpline and support for HR questions and issues;


Two telephone advice calls per month (extra calls are charged at £10 +vat for each additional phone call thereafter)


Employment legislation and document updates as and when they occur;


Download further Employment Contracts as and when you hire more staff;


Help with the full process of hiring, from drafting an application form, interview letters, offer letters etc.;


Tribunal Legal support.

Contact us



  07834 475832 / 07702 478414



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